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Debate II: What do you consider a sport?


lopernv
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1 hour ago, Cujo said:

Sports which are actual sports

Football

Baseball

Soccer

Basketball

Ice Hockey

Cycling

MMA

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Throwing in Tennis, Lacrosse, Rugby (and variations thereof), and then some olympic sports like Track & Field, swimming, distance running, Boxing, Wrestling, Water Polo.

 

 

 

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3 hours ago, Needschat said:

Ernest Hemingway — "There are only three sports: bullfighting, motor racing, and mountaineering; all the rest are merely games"

 

I wouldn't let Hemingway define sports for the rest of the world. Heck, anybody who lets Hemingway define how they see the world is somebody I would like to avoid.

3 hours ago, Cujo said:

Sports which are actual sports

Football

Baseball

Soccer

Basketball

Ice Hockey

Cycling

MMA

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I'd like to add fencing, field hockey, and badminton to the list.

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4 hours ago, BeerGuyJordan said:

I don't really have a problem with calling it a sport. There is very little actual physical exertion, but with the following it has...sure, go ahead. I do, however, take issue with people who call NASCAR drivers athletes.

ok try withstanding 500lbs of force on your body up to 1000 times in a day, also do this in 120 degree heat, and do it for at a minimum 4 hour, then call them not athletes. 

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2 hours ago, lopernv said:

The thing about racing is that, at least in some forms, the field of drivers are undeniably athletic: Jenson Button regularly races the Half Ironman (2.1k swim, 90k bike, 21.1k run), Alonso trains on the BATAK (he has scored 138 in 60 seconds, here's a 138) and can crack nuts with his neck (!). All three are purposeful for a grand prix: endurance, reflex/reaction time, and resistance against G-forces, respectively. I'm sure there are similar cases in NASCAR, but I am not familiar with the series. This leads to an interesting conundrum, at least for me, whether things like F1 are genuine sports or if they are competitions that happen to showcase athletes.

 

Again, this is why I prefer definitions over lists and picking and choosing which sports/events/competitions fit into whatever idea I have in my head of what a sport is.

 

3 hours ago, DG_Now said:

I used to be down on racing, and while I still don't watch it, I think it's definitely a sport and an athletic endeavor.  Not only because you're risking your life far more than in most sports, but also because maintaining that level of focus and dexterity for hours on end is an incredible skill.  The turns are hard, drifting is hard, knowing when to go into pit stops is hard, knowing when to pass is hard, and so on. Yes, the car is doing the "work," but so is the baseball bat, the golf club, the hockey stick and so on.

 

Again, racing isn't my deal, but I respect the work it takes to be great at it. I didn't always.

Ok, like I said, there is training and skill involved, and some drivers may also be solid athletes. There is, however (IMO) nothing athletic about driving a race car.

 

If it sounds like I'm putting down pro racing, I'm not. If I went out and tried to do it, I'd die an embarassment to my family and be refused entry to Valhalla. Just because something takes skill, training and dexterity does not make a person an athlete. 

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27 minutes ago, dont care said:

ok try withstanding 500lbs of force on your body up to 1000 times in a day, also do this in 120 degree heat, and do it for at a minimum 4 hour, then call them not athletes. 

Again, these are ompressive for a person to endure, but by your argument, competitive sauna endurance challenges or the astronaut program would make a person an athlete.

 

You're free to disagree, but I can't see driving a car, regardless of the conditions or impresiveness of how well they do it, as athleticism.

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30 minutes ago, BeerGuyJordan said:

Again, these are ompressive for a person to endure, but by your argument, competitive sauna endurance challenges or the astronaut program would make a person an athlete.

 

You're free to disagree, but I can't see driving a car, regardless of the conditions or impresiveness of how well they do it, as athleticism.

Your expanples don't include them competing directly with anything, in NASCAR racing they are, it takes crazy amounts of endurance to race. Many of the drivers run marathons and do quite well because they need to be in such good shape to drive in NASCAR.

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8 minutes ago, dont care said:

Your expanples don't include them competing directly with anything, in NASCAR racing they are, it takes crazy amounts of endurance to race. Many of the drivers run marathons and do quite well because they need to be in such good shape to drive in NASCAR.

Take any elite player from the NHL, NBA, MLB, NFL, MLS, etc. And give them crappy gear, stuff that doesn't even meet the baseline for league standards on equipment (cleats, gloves, bats, sticks, etc.) and they will still be able to perform at an acceptable level for their league. Sure, they'll have a decreased performance, but they are there because of their athleticism.

 

Use the same scenario with an elite NASCAR driver: give them a crappy car that is well below standard. They would be the last one to cross the finish line. Every. Time. Because, no matter what kind of shape they are in, no matter how impressive their abilities, it is the car that is the key component to winning, not their athleticism.

 

Yes, they may be very athletic. Yes, what they do is impressive. Yes, it is a valid form of entettainment. You can even make the case that NASCAR is a sport. NASCAR dricers DO NOT compete as athletes any more than a Kentucky Derby jockey does.

 

Their ability to withstand the car's conditions does not give them an edge, all drivers are doing it. If anything it's just a criteria for competition. What gives them an edge (over someone else driving the vehicle) are their judgement, split-second decision making, ability to drive and familiarity with the vehicle. These are not athletic traits, if they were, we'd start calling speed chess players athletes.

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29 minutes ago, BeerGuyJordan said:

Take any elite player from the NHL, NBA, MLB, NFL, MLS, etc. And give them crappy gear, stuff that doesn't even meet the baseline for league standards on equipment (cleats, gloves, bats, sticks, etc.) and they will still be able to perform at an acceptable level for their league. Sure, they'll have a decreased performance, but they are there because of their athleticism.

 

Use the same scenario with an elite NASCAR driver: give them a crappy car that is well below standard. They would be the last one to cross the finish line. Every. Time. Because, no matter what kind of shape they are in, no matter how impressive their abilities, it is the car that is the key component to winning, not their athleticism.

 

Yes, they may be very athletic. Yes, what they do is impressive. Yes, it is a valid form of entettainment. You can even make the case that NASCAR is a sport. NASCAR dricers DO NOT compete as athletes any more than a Kentucky Derby jockey does.

 

Their ability to withstand the car's conditions does not give them an edge, all drivers are doing it. If anything it's just a criteria for competition. What gives them an edge (over someone else driving the vehicle) are their judgement, split-second decision making, ability to drive and familiarity with the vehicle. These are not athletic traits, if they were, we'd start calling speed chess players athletes.

I think that's an argument that applies to select sports, but not all.  If I'm reading the room correctly, I think almost all of us would call bicycle racing a sport.  I guarantee the guys in the Tour de France would not perform at an "acceptable level" with a $79 Wal-Mart bike.  I think it's a difference between sports that are mostly using the human body to hit/direct a ball and sports like auto racing or bicycle racing that are more about manipulating machines.  If you think bicycle racing is a sport, it's not a far leap to say that auto racing is, as well.

 

And yeah, car drivers are athletes.

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43 minutes ago, Cosmic said:

I think that's an argument that applies to select sports, but not all.  If I'm reading the room correctly, I think almost all of us would call bicycle racing a sport.  I guarantee the guys in the Tour de France would not perform at an "acceptable level" with a $79 Wal-Mart bike.  I think it's a difference between sports that are mostly using the human body to hit/direct a ball and sports like auto racing or bicycle racing that are more about manipulating machines.  If you think bicycle racing is a sport, it's not a far leap to say that auto racing is, as well.

 

And yeah, car drivers are athletes.

You make a good point, on the bike deal. The key difference is that the bike is fueled purely by the athletic talent of the rider. A car runs on fossil fuel. So yes, it is a big leap to make.

 

Also, I briefly assembled bikes in college. Armstrong, in his prime, could almost certainly have finished 60-70th percentile with the basic Wally World road bike. Nothing worth celebrating, but no one would have looked at the finish and said "what's that guy doing here?"

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1 hour ago, dont care said:

in NASCAR racing it takes crazy amounts of endurance to race.

 

Yeah. Like holding your bladder.

 

Actually, it's pretty well known NASCAR drivers pee and poo in their jumpsuits during races. The real "athletes" are the everyday Joes who hold it in til they reach the nearest gas station. Now THAT'S endurance!

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6 hours ago, Cujo said:

Sports which are actual sports

Football

Baseball

Soccer

Basketball

Ice Hockey

Cycling

MMA

-----------

Sports in which the human does none of the work

Horse Racing

NASCAR

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Sports which you can drink/smoke while doing

Golf

Darts

Bowling

Billiards

Curling

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Sports which are sports because ESPN

World Series of Poker

Competitive Hot Dog Eating

Spelling Bee

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Not a sport

WWE

 

 

Feel free to add to this list if you feel a category or quasi-sport was left out.

 

what about the classic Olympic sports.  also you are right about the last four.  

 

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@goalieboy82 I purposely left other obvious real sports off the list, but it looks like McCarthy pretty much covered them.

 

 

7 hours ago, Cujo said:

Sports which are sports because ESPN

World Series of Poker

Competitive Hot Dog Eating

Spelling Bee

 

Adding DraftKings to this list.

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57 minutes ago, BeerGuyJordan said:

You make a good point, on the bike deal. The key difference is that the bike is fueled purely by the athletic talent of the rider. A car runs on fossil fuel. So yes, it is a big leap to make.

 

Also, I briefly assembled bikes in college. Armstrong, in his prime, could almost certainly have finished 60-70th percentile with the basic Wally World road bike. Nothing worth celebrating, but no one would have looked at the finish and said "what's that guy doing here?"

My apologies... I didn't realize I was talking to someone who had assembled a bicycle before.

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10 minutes ago, Cosmic said:

My apologies... I didn't realize I was talking to someone who had assembled a bicycle before.

Well, it only took two pages for someone to be a prick. 

 

My point is that the performance differences in bikes is not as big as you might think. The first big price jump up from "basic" is about weight/materials (which does affect performance), but after that you're looking more at the quality of gears, brakes, durability (a lot of it is about durability). A Wal-Mart bike is going to be heavier and break down sooner, but should still be good for a single race. An elite biker will absolutely be encumbered by it, but since many cyclist incorporate heavier-framed bikes into their training (basically resistance training), it wouldn't completely tank them to the bottom of the pack.

 

If you put the best NASCAR driver in a Mustang and set them on the speedway, they're going to get lapped, frequently. Elite athletes augment their performance with cutting edge equipment that will slightly improve their game. Elite drivers are wholly at the mercy of the performance of the car they are in.

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I bet a good driver in a bad car (for Nascar standards) would do better than a bad driver in a good car. I also think that's generally the point of stock car racing.

 

Equipment matters in all sports. This isn't a surprise. The 70th ranked tennis pro could probably beat Djokovic is Djokovic were using a 70s wooden racket and the lower ranked guy had a modern carbon fiber whatever.

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7 minutes ago, BeerGuyJordan said:

Well, it only took two pages for someone to be a prick. 

 

My point is that the performance differences in bikes is not as big as you might think. The first big price jump up from "basic" is about weight/materials (which does affect performance), but after that you're looking more at the quality of gears, brakes, durability (a lot of it is about durability). A Wal-Mart bike is going to be heavier and break down sooner, but should still be good for a single race. An elite biker will absolutely be encumbered by it, but since many cyclist incorporate heavier-framed bikes into their training (basically resistance training), it wouldn't completely tank them to the bottom of the pack.

 

If you put the best NASCAR driver in a Mustang and set them on the speedway, they're going to get lapped, frequently. Elite athletes augment their performance with cutting edge equipment that will slightly improve their game. Elite drivers are wholly at the mercy of the performance of the car they are in.

I think it's just further down the continuum. Obviously, powering a bike with your legs is more physically demanding than pushing pedals and turning a steering wheel, but I think it's much harder on the mental/coordination side to control a car at 200 MPH than it is to control a bike at 35 MPH.

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2 hours ago, Cosmic said:

I think that's an argument that applies to select sports, but not all.  If I'm reading the room correctly, I think almost all of us would call bicycle racing a sport.  I guarantee the guys in the Tour de France would not perform at an "acceptable level" with a $79 Wal-Mart bike.  I think it's a difference between sports that are mostly using the human body to hit/direct a ball and sports like auto racing or bicycle racing that are more about manipulating machines.  If you think bicycle racing is a sport, it's not a far leap to say that auto racing is, as well.

 

And yeah, car drivers are athletes.

Whenever you drive a car, do you see yourself accomplishing an athletic feat?

 

Driving a car, no matter how fast you're going or how long you're driving or how far you're going....is not an athletic feat.  Driving a car is not a sport.  Just because something is hard to do or can be mentally-taxing doesn't make it an athletic achievement.

 

What's harder....driving a car as fast as you can or hitting a 95mph fastball?

What's harder....driving a car for 500 miles or pedaling a bike for 80+ miles?

What's harder....driving a car for four hours or hitting a puck and playing a game on skates?

 

Driving a car is not a sport.  Motorsport? Sure. 

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1 minute ago, HedleyLamarr said:

Whenever you drive a car, do you see yourself accomplishing an athletic feat?

 

Driving a car, no matter how fast you're going or how long you're driving or how far you're going....is not an athletic feat.  Driving a car is not a sport.  Just because something is hard to do or can be mentally-taxing doesn't make it an athletic achievement.

 

What's harder....driving a car as fast as you can or hitting a 95mph fastball?

What's harder....driving a car for 500 miles or pedaling a bike for 80+ miles?

What's harder....driving a car for four hours or hitting a puck and playing a game on skates?

 

Driving a car is not a sport.  Motorsport? Sure. 

What's harder? Hitting a 95 MPH fastball, or getting a hole in one? Does that mean baseball isn't a sport?

 

If I walk across an empty football field carrying a football, is that an athletic feat? Adding speed and competition can turn otherwise mundane activities into sports.

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I think for something to truly be considered a sport, there has to be two things going for it. 

 

1) You have to be doing something at least somewhat physically strenuous

2) You have to be doing the majority of the work

 

This is why I would consider golf a sport, because you're the one powering the club. This is also why I wouldn't consider motor sports a true sport. No knock on auto racing because it's definitely very strenuous, but it's mostly powered by outside, unnatural forces. I would consider horse racing, bull riding, surfing, ect to be in some eschelon of sport (but maybe not the same?), because it deals with an element of outside unpredictability. 

 

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54 minutes ago, Cosmic said:

Adding speed and competition can turn otherwise mundane activities into sports.

True, if there's an athletic element involved.  Driving a car, in of itself, is not an athletic element.

 

40 people driving cars really fast for four hours doesn't make driving a car an athletic feat or a sport.

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